A friend of my wife sent me this link from here of a dresser that was repurposed into an entry-way bench. I was then asked to make a bench for my wife…
The photos just showed the before and after. I had no idea what to do, so I learned as I went. This tutorial should save you some time. Or at least give you a game plan…
You also want it to be decorative on the bottom.
Step 1: Locate a 6 drawer dresser about 50-54 inches wide. You don’t want to go much wider.
Carefully set the top aside. You will use it later as the bench seat.
Step 2: Remove all of the drawers and set them aside. You will need to replace 2 on the bottom later. The other four can be repurposed. Carefully remove the top of the dresser. There will be screws that can be accessed from the inside where the top two drawers were.
Step 3: Cut away the interior framework for the top four drawers. This will be the future seating area. In the photo below you will notice the existing board running horizontal above the bottom drawers and a vertical board in the center. I took the photo before trimming the vertical board flush with the horizontal board (so the bench seat will sit flush).
Step 4: Remove the flimsy back of the dresser and replace it with ¼” plywood.
Step 5: Attach 1” x 4” pine boards along the back on the bottom to the existing board that was visible in the photo in step 4. Also notice the 2 x 4 section added to each side. (See photos above and below).
Step 6: Create 4 “L” shapes out of 2 x 4’s and attach them under the existing horizontal board.
The “L” 2 x 4’s rest on both the existing and added 1 x 4’s along the bottom and attach to the underside of the existing horizontal board.
Put in screws through the plywood into the vertical 2 x 4’s from the back.
Then attach 2 “L” brackets on each vertical and horizontal 2 x 4 intersection to provide more strength. See example below.
Step 7: Attach 2 “L” brackets on each of the back corners of the bench.
Step 8: After trimming the former dresser top, place it onto the seat support.
Then run screws through the existing seat support into the bench seat from the bottom up. 4 screws should be sufficient to hold the bench seat in place.
Step 9: Because 2 x 4’s were added, the original bottom drawers did not fit. For the dresser I worked on, the 2 original top drawers were shallower than the other 4 drawers. So I used the top 2 drawers as the bottom drawers. But first I had to take the small drawer fronts off the top drawers and replace them with the larger fronts from the other drawers.
We chose to create upholstered cushions to go around the sides and back of the bench. Cut sections of plywood left over from the back of the bench to make supports for the foam and fabric.
I marked 'up' arrows on the back of each cushion because the clean uncut edges of the foam were at the top of each cushion.
I used an electric staple gun. If you don’t have one, borrow one. It’s hard enough getting the staples into plywood with the electric gun…
Step 10: Step back and enjoy the finished bench!
Thank you Paul for the great step-by-step instructions.
Here is another fun repurposing project I featured a couple of years ago: a headboard turned into a bench.